Islam in Slovakia
In 2010, there were an estimated 5,000 Muslims in Slovakia representing fewer than 0.1% of the country's population. In the 17th century parts of central and southern Slovakia was occupied by Ottoman Turks and was bonded to the Uyvar Eyalet (along with Eğri Eyalet) for some decades after Turkish settlements were established for example in Novohrad region. Turks also had a suzerainty over the Principality of Upper Hungary, which controlled eastern Slovakia.
Decades after the Hungarian defeat of Mohacs (1526) Turkish troops occupied Štúrovo (Párkány) and other parts of today's southern central Slovakia and encouraged the Protestant Christian groups while Habsburg Austrian troops occupied and recatholized the northern and western parts. Later on the Turks seized some further territories in southern central Slovakia and pillaged in territories up to Nitra. Finally, however, when the Turks lost the Battle of Vienna and the Ottoman vassal Imre Thököly was defeated in Slovakia, between 1687 and 1699 Turkish Ottoman rule in Hungary was finally broken.
Most of the Muslims in Slovakia are refugees from former Yugoslavia (Bosnians and Albanians) or workers from modern Turkey (Turks), beside them a few Arab students and migrant workers from South and Southeast Asia. Most of the Muslims live in the capital Bratislava, smaller communities also exist in Košice and Martin.
Slovakia is the last member state of the European Union without a mosque. In 2000, a dispute about the building of an Islamic center in Bratislava erupted: the capital's mayor refused such attempts of the Slovak Islamic Waqfs Foundation.
In 2015, amidst the European migrant crisis, Slovakia agreed to admit 200 Christian asylum seekers, but refused to accept Muslims under an EU scheme to share migrants between member states. Slovak Ministry of Interior Affairs explained this decision by the absence of Muslim places of worship in Slovakia which will allegedly complicate the refugees' integration in Slovak society. The decision was criticized by the EU, which doubted the decision's legality, and expressed concern for its discriminatory nature.
On 30 November 2016, Slovakia passed legislation to effectively block Islam from gaining official status as a religion in the country. Slovakia is the only country within the European Union without any mosque.
Islamic Center of Cordoba, Bratislava (Kultúrne centrum Córdoba)
Islamic Center of Cordoba (Kultúrne Centrum Córdoba), is located down the Obchodná street, Bratislava. It is the only place of Muslim worship in the country under Islamic foundation in Slovakia. Even though it’s an unofficial Mosque, it is open every day of the year for all daily prayers except the Fajr prayer. Friday sermon is held in Arabic, English and Slovak language and starts Friday on 13:00 am. The mosque is not very big, but it is enough to hold congregation prayers of about 80 to 100 people. There is a wooden podium that is used for Friday sermons, but there is no decoration with elaborated patterns as found in common mosques. The Kultúrne Centrum Córdoba has tried to attain an official mosque permit from the government, but had its proposal rejected.
A copy of Saadi Shirazi's works (Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava).
- "Religious Composition by Country, 2010-2050". Pew Research Center. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Slovensko je poslednou krajinou únie, kde nie je mešita". Pluska (in Slovak). 7 PLUS, s.r.o. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- Matthew Holehouse, Justin Huggler (20 August 2015). "Slovakia refuses to accept Muslim migrants". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
- Henrich, Alica (2015): Multiculturalism and Religious Tolerance Politics Concerning Muslims in Slovakia. Hamburg.